Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Lately, my days are moving fast, too fast. I’m up at 5, work on the blog, head to work, sub float, teach, make calls during lunch to switch the considerable amount of obligations over to my name since the divorce, teach, then it’s more work, errands, kids’ lessons, classes, gym, etc., followed by dinner, homework, grade/prep, then just lather, rinse and repeat for the remainder of the week. I practically feel like a robot. However, it’s the in-between moment, in between all the responsibilities and obligations of work, running a household, paying the bills, etc. that the really intense moments and life lessons occur. Often at the most inconvenient of times. But when has parenting ever been convenient?
I’ll be honest, I used to think that only mothers could relate to the inconveniences of parenthood. To be fair, I was a stay-at-home mom whose husband traveled 4 days a week. I was the mom who got up at midnight or 3am when a child was attempting to make it to the bathroom when they weren’t feeling well but instead threw up along the journey. Does anyone else have one of those kids who no matter how hard they try just can’t seem to make it in a bucket, to the bathroom, or any form of receptacle? I even had one puke in our bed. It was the worst. I’ve since learned that both moms and dads can actually relate to the inconveniences of parenthood, so I do apologize if this seems one-sided. But as a mom coming off of being the stay-at-home mom, the person the children came to for all the things, the parent that tended to the ailments, all the guidance, redirection, homework, drama, etc., and then to also be placed in the position of being the breadwinner, bill payer, etc. has been the biggest emotional, psychological, physical, and mental strain of my life. If you’ve never had to be both the roles of mom and dad I’m not certain you can truly understand the extent and weight this weighs on one individual. No matter the question, issue, or concern the answer falls on you. There is no one to have an intellectual debate or conversation with, no partner, spouse, or helpmate to be your sounding board, it ALL falls on you! That means all the decision-making, the right, wrong, indifferent, or “I just want to sleep”, etc. are all your fault. So what is it like raising teenagers on your own?
It’s magical because of where they are developmentally. It’s an honor that God would place me in such a high position to assist not one, but three, human beings. It’s also exhausting because ALL the issues occur SO LATE at night, it’s stressful because I constantly question myself when it comes to answering questions on homework, friendships, dating (oldest is in a committed relationship with an awesome young gentleman), etc. That being said, when it comes to the everyday lessons in life they are still exhausting! Just last week they almost gave me a heart attack!
I was up till 10pm grading and prepping. I finally fell asleep around 10:30ish. I was abruptly awoken in a panic. I heard the smoke detector alarm going off and my kids screaming for me. It was midnight. I rush downstairs to smoke billowing in the kitchen. Apparently, they were making a midnight snack, the butter had melted, smoke happened, they opened the oven and the detector went off. My children learned three very valuable lessons that night, 1-crack a window, 2-fan the smoke detector, and 3-ONLY wake mom when there are flames! lol!
Raising a teenager on my own is the hardest job I’ve ever had, let alone three. That being said it’s a privilege and great honor, but the hardest job no less. If you have been blessed with a partner, spouse, etc. to help navigate the teenage years as a parent appreciate them, acknowledge and honor their input, even if it’s as simplistic as, “I agree” and then they get you coffee, especially if they make and get you coffee…just to have someone else bring the coffee so I could do ALL the things would be so appreciated. Appreciate your person, people, etc. None of us can do this entirely on our own.
One thought on “What is it like raising teenagers on your own? ”
Thank you for sharing this. I think you’re doing a great job. It is hard. My marriage is mediocre at best, and toxic at worst. Right now it’s wishy-washy, but you encouraged me to try to make it work harder.